04 May 2012

I prefer competitive excellence

I am a competitive person.

When I was an athlete, I wanted to do my best.  It made me upset when I got to college and was no longer among the fastest in the meets.  As a coach, I love to be able to take athletes who were not good and make them into athletes that are competitive.  In work, I love trying to be the best teacher I can be.  I love looking for new lessons.  I love watching shows on television the can help me better teach information to my students.

I cannot understand why some students and student-athletes are so noncompetitive.  I have kids on my track team who could care less whether they win or lose.  There are some who don't want to be put into meets.  There are several who are so inconsistent with their practicing that it makes no sense to me.  They either are not attending practices regularly or when they do attend, they do not try as hard as they are capable of doing.

I don't understand.

I talked with a friend of mine who said that he would rather work with people who suck and are competitive and confident rather than someone who is really good and has no confidence.

When I was younger, this would not have made any sense to me.

Now, I totally understand.

I would rather work with people who are horrible at their job/sport, but who care.  I would rather work with people who are going to try.  I would rather work with people who are willing to work to improve rather than people who are really good but don't care at all.


  1. Yeah, it's hard to understand why athletes in any sport would not care about doing well. Even if it's a noncompetitive sport, competing with yourself to improve your best time, or whatever, should be motivating. Who knows?

    1. That's what I was thinking... but I'm not sure how to impart that into the athletes any more than I have been trying to do. I think it is engrained not to try or to care in so many of the young people in the school... like a culture of failure or inadequacy or something.

  2. Okay. I wanna play the devil of advocate here ... What happen to the mentality that you play for leisure. To enjoy?
    As far as work ... It is tough ...sometimes you can't quit the job just because you don't like it but you must persist. Now what? :-)
    No worry ... I love my job and I am quite competent :-)

    1. Good points, and thanks for posting them. I do understand doing it just for pleasure. There are some out on the track team that I know that is all they are doing. But when others tell me that they want to be good, but don't put in work to do so and don't seem to care when they don't do well, that is my issue.

      With work, it is a whole different story. As a teacher, I know that some people may be doing the work because they think it is easy or they think it is an easy way to get certain vacays. Unfortunately, they soon learn that it does take work to teach even badly. With the economy, perhaps they can not find other work. I don't know...

      Glad you posted this and glad you enjoy your job!!

  3. I get it. For me it's not about ability, but trying to do the best you can. My parents taught me that. I taught my children. You can train people to do things. You can't train them to care.

    1. I could care less about the ability of some of the athletes. I have one boy who long jumps shorter than I have seen some 9 year olds long jump and he's 17. But he tries really hard and he cares about his improvements, so I continue to put him in meets when he wants to jump in them. That I love.

      The ones that don't care about competing or trying to be better are the ones that irk me.

      Thanks for commenting and I'm glad your parents instilled a drive to do well and that you are doing that for your children, too.


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